How do you achieve “absolute quiet” with 108 elementary students?
Put a chess board in front of them.
Onslow County Schools held its second annual chess tournament this week for students at Parkwood Elementary School in third through fifth grades.
Onslow County Schools’ Academically and Intellectually Gifted educators teach all second graders in the district how to play chess. To encourage them to stick with the game, the tournaments allow the five best players from each elementary school to compete for trophies and medals — all “for the love of chess,” said Phyllis Venters, one of the school’s AIG specialists and the organizer of the tournament.
“These students, not just the gifted students, but all students, learn to play competition chess in second grade, which provides them with many benefits,” she said, noting that one of those benefits is improved scores on standardized tests. “Chess is a great brain game. The students learn good manners, they learn decision-making, strategies and they learn there are consequences for their actions — it’s all completely linked to the brain.”
Grey Goodson, a fifth grader at Carolina Forest Elementary School, said chess has been helpful in school and with other sports he is involved in.
“I learned about strategy and I learned how to think about things,” he said. “In sports and in writing it helps you plan.”
Chess has helped teach Brandon Roland, a fifth grader at Richlands Elementary School, to be patient and plan ahead.
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